The District has been denied entry into a pilot community vaccination center program by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), it was announced Thursday.
FEMA offered DC staffing and assistance for logistics, which are not required, instead of more vaccine doses, according to Patrick Ashley, DC Health’s Senior Deputy Director of Health Emergency Preparedness and Response.
With respect to the community vaccination center pilot program, Ashley explained to councilmembers on Wednesday that the city did not need “the help that they’re offering, in the format that they’re offering.”
Ashley added that the city’s government would re-evaluate the idea of a FEMA partnership if more vaccines become part of the deal in the future.
The pilot program normally provides additional vaccine shots to participating states and cities. However, DC did not meet the eligibility criteria for being admitted in the first place, according to FEMA.
The District had applied to join the program at the end of 2020.
“The sites FEMA is piloting are selected based on data analysis including the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index and other Census data as well as input from our state and local partners,” FEMA says on its website about Type 1 and Type 2 federal pilot community vaccination centers (CVCs).
“Vaccines for these centers are provided to the states above and beyond the regular allocations. The additional vaccines are made possible through increases in production and availability. We are working to do the most good, for the most vulnerable populations, with no impact to the current allocations of vaccines to the states,” FEMA’s statement continues.
FEMA has given approximately $2.3 million so far for DC’s vaccine distribution and related costs.